I am in deep pain when I look at the accounts of the death of George Floyd. There are many others recently, but George Floyd’s death is especially painful, and vengeful. I thought I was out of tears and then, wicked cops killed Elijah McClain, a nerdy guy who played his violin at the animal shelter for forlorn feral cats. Like Floyd, he begged for his life. He told them cops; he didn’t even fight other young’uns.
But they choked him, then when he was unresponsive, paramedics pumped him with drugs. He was a skinny, little, nerdy kid, not a big buck like Floyd. But it didn’t matter. Were either of them Baptist, or Catholic, or Muslim, Brother Malcolm X might inquire. It doesn’t matter. What matters is they were Black and some Ku Kluxers with a badge thought them to be “suspicious” and took the law into their own hands.
I know how they think. “I’ll teach him a lesson, because some liberal judge will let him off with a plea deal.” “He may not be guilty of this crime, but he’s guilty of something, so I’ll teach him not to walk the streets in the 77th Precinct.”
Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, the list seems endless, and we are rightly outraged. Now, at last, the whole world shares our outrage. It’s good that so many are now outraged. The Watts Uprising in 1965 was over this very same kind of police abuse, and that was 55 years ago.
It hurts me to say this, but far more Black people are killed every week at the hands of out-of-control young hoodlums who answer to no one, and only change their thuggish ways after a long prison bid for one offense or another, or after they grow too old to compete with the young’uns in “The Game.”
The sad part is that no one except the affected family members mourns for the victims of homeboy violence. When a cop (especially a White cop) or a White civilian kills one of us, we scream, “Black Lives Matter.” We march. We protest. When Cousin Juney Boy is the perpetrator, we are mum.
I insist, those Black lives matter too.
Over one recent June weekend in Chicago, 14 Black folks were murdered, 102 were wounded at the hands of our own people. There were no murals, no marches, no celebrities rushing forward with money to pay for those funerals and to get a headline. We don’t even know their names. Fourteen dead, 102 injured in one bloody weekend. Sometimes our little babies are killed by stray bullets, and we remain silent.
So, when I posted a complaint on social media about our myopia when White folks are not to blame, I was called “stupid,” “offensive,” “propagandist,” told I had lost my damn mind. Well, I may be crazy, out of my mind, but I’m not stupid.
The saddest part is that those perpetrators went back to their homes and faced no consequences. Sadly, some of us even know our out-of-control children commit these terrible crimes but are maybe afraid to confront them. It’s understandable, who would want to send our child into the hands of the U.S. criminal injustice system? But wrong is still wrong.
On that weekend in Chicago, two boys were killed and another wounded because they asked some dude in a convenience store how tall he is! Just days later in New York, a high school basketball star was gunned down days after his graduation, but not by a cop or a White vigilante, though, so our voices were silent.
But don’t try to make me out as some kind of Tea Party-collaborating, Uncle Clarence Tom-ass because I’m sick of seeing it, and have the nerve to say something about it. No way! Go down to your basement, there’s an 800-pound gorilla there playing video games, and otherwise up to no good. Show him some tough love. Get him to mend his/her ways. Get him/her to go to school. Take him/her to the community college to enroll. Require him/her to do something productive with his/her life. Be an example.
I’m not wrong for calling us to discipline ourselves. Like when cops do it to us, and when White folks do it to us, us, killing and injuring us is wrong, and we’re the only ones who can correct the wrong!